24 Hours Notice or 24 Hour’s Notice or 24 Hours’ Notice?

The possessive form can come with many overlapping rules when you think about them. Native speakers often overlook the possessive apostrophe (if they can get away with it). This article will demonstrate how “24 hours’ notice” works and all the possessive forms related to it.

24 Hours Notice or 24 Hour’s Notice or 24 Hours’ Notice?

“24 hours’ notice” is the standard and correct way to write the possessive form. It relates to a 24-hour period, which is 24 unique hours (thus, it should be a plural form). The apostrophe only ever comes after the plural version when 24 hours is used as a time measurement.

24 hours notice grammar

It would be incorrect to place the apostrophe anywhere else. “24 hour’s notice” would imply that “24 hour” is a singular entity, which is not the case.

Also, leaving the apostrophe out and writing “24 hours notice” is not correct. However, this is becoming an increasingly popular choice informally, where standard English rules can be dropped.

Singular 1 hour
Plural 24 hours
Singular possessive 1 hour’s notice
Plural possessive 24 hours’ notice

24 Hours Notice

You should not use “24 hours notice” in formal writing. It does not follow standard rules where apostrophes are required to indicate the possessive form. However, native speakers will often drop the apostrophe informally if they do not think it adds value.

You will often find native speakers will write the possessive form in this way.

While it’s technically incorrect, it’s becoming more common informally. The apostrophe is being left out of most situations because native speakers think it’s much easier to type or write when the is no apostrophe present.

This is a common trend in many other aspects of English, where an added piece of punctuation does not change the overall meaning. Many people think they’re no longer worth including, and it’s likely that the apostrophe might never be needed one day.

  • Correct: I am going to give you 24 hours’ notice on this, but I expect you to action it much sooner.
  • Incorrect: Can you give me the 24 hours notice that I’ve asked for? I think that’s only fair for what I’ve done here!
  • Correct: I only have 24 hours’ notice left to work here. It’s great because it means I don’t have to try very hard anymore.
  • Incorrect: You gave me 24 hours notice and expected me to get this job done well! I’m sorry, but that’s not how any of this works!

24 Hour’s Notice

“24 hour’s notice” is never correct. Unlike the version with the apostrophe (which can work informally), it is never acceptable to use this form because “24 hours” is not a singular form. The apostrophe can only come between the “R” and the “S” if “hour” is singular.

  • Correct: I only have 24 hours’ notice for this piece, and yet I’m supposed to get it done to the best of my ability.
  • Incorrect: You’ve given me 24 hour’s notice, which is the company policy. I suppose I can get all of this done for you.
  • Correct: It’s not just about the 24 hours’ notice that you gave me. It’s about the principles involved here.
  • Incorrect: I think you only have 24 hour’s notice left to work here. I suppose you’re thinking about taking that holiday now!

24 Hours’ Notice

“24 hours’ notice” is the only correct way. You should use apostrophes in this way because “hours” is in the plural form. The apostrophe must come after the “S” whenever the plural form is used to show that multiple “hours” own the “notice.”

According to AP Style rules, you should always place apostrophes after the plural form of the word. Since “hours” is the plural form, it makes sense to include the apostrophe directly after it to show that you understand how the form should work.

While it’s more common to see this form formally, it still works well informally. It’s just a good way to show people that you have a strong grasp of the English language when it comes to possessive forms.

  1. I am giving you 24 hours’ notice to get this done. I think that’s going to be more than enough time for you, okay?
  2. You have only got 24 hours’ notice left to work here. What are you going to do once that time runs out, and you’re free to go?
  3. I think he has to give 24 hours’ notice at least. He can’t just up and leave whenever he feels like it!
  4. You have 24 hours’ notice mentioned in your policies, but I don’t understand how that’s going to help anybody!

Hyphen Rules

It’s possible to use “24” with the singular “hour,” but only when hyphens are involved. You can use “24-hour notice,” where “24” and “hour” are hyphenated to become a compound adjective before the noun “notice.”

This is standard according to AP Stylebook rules. You should always hyphenate multiple words when they modify the same noun in a sentence. Since “24” and “hour” both modify “notice,” you should always hyphenate them when you want to follow AP Style rules.

This form isn’t common, and many people will always lean toward the possessive “24 hours’ notice” instead. However, it is still grammatically correct, so it would help to know how it works.

  1. I’m going to hand in my 24-hour notice in a moment. I think it’s going to be the last time I see my boss, which is great.
  2. You need to give a 24-hour notice to the office if you want to take time off for something like that, I’m afraid.
  3. I haven’t had 24-hour notice periods since I started working here. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to get them again.
  4. Do you want to give me an actual 24-hour notice period this time? I think that will benefit both of us.

Final Thoughts

You should always write “24 hours’ notice” to show you have a firm understanding of English. It works well because it shows that you know how the plural possessive form works. “24 hours notice” can work, but only informally, so it’s best to avoid it. “24 hour’s” notice never works.

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